By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
After seeing a four-shot lead disappear during the previous four holes, Doug Harvey birdied the finishing hole for a one-shot victory in the Seniors Division of the Joplin Globe Men’s City Championship on Saturday afternoon.
With the closing birdie, Harvey had a final-round 76 and finished one shot ahead of defending champion Les Taylor and two ahead of fellow senior rookie Bill Curry. Taylor, tied for the 36-hole lead with Harvey, had a final-round 77, and Curry shot 74.
Jim Lucas, the inaugural senior winner two years ago, matched par-71 — three birdies and three bogeys while shooting 35-36 — and climbed into fourth place at 231, and Dan Tourtelot was fifth at 77-236.
Briarbrook, with seven players among the top 12, completed its runaway team victory with a 1,150 total. Joplin Golf Club won the battle for second with 1,208, and Twin Hills shot 1,219.
Harvey owned a two-shot lead at the turn after a front-nine 38, and pars on the first four holes of the back nine left him three shots ahead of Curry and four in front of Taylor.
But Harvey made two bogeys and a double-bogey during the next four holes, and stepping to the final tee, Harvey and Taylor were tied, and Curry was one shot back.
“I doubled laying 100 yards out (from the green),” Harvey said. “I knocked it over the green and three-putted once I got on. Then I went over the green and bogeyed 15, missed the birdie on 16 and bogeyed 17 (from the right rough). I was trying to play it out to the left with a cut and hit right into a tree.
“But the shot was on 18.”
From the middle of the fairway, Harvey’s second shot hit on the green and stopped about 15 feet behind the flag, and he two-putted for birdie.”
“A 5-iron ... only about 165 out but I hit a little cut shot,” Harvey said about his approach on 18. “Actually I thought I made the eagle putt. I thought it was going in, but it was good enough.”
Taylor had a chance to tie, but his birdie attempt went below the hole.
“I didn’t putt good today,” Taylor said. “Really I didn’t play that good today at all. I started off good. I birdied 1, doubled 2, hit it out of bounds on 3. I had opportunities from there on ... it was just one of those days.
“I’m not blaming the wind. I’m not blaming the golf course. I blame myself. I couldn’t hit it where I was looking. On two holes I should have at least parred (2 and 3), I shoot 4-over on those two holes. I was in good company, and it was a good match.”